Floods affect distribution of relief food
Solwezi, February 25, ZANIS —– North-Western Province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu is worried about the welfare of over 3,000 flood victims who cannot be reached by Red Cross workers distributing relief food in the west bank of Zambezi district.
Mr Mubukwanu expressed worry about the flood victims over-the-weekend when he paid a courtesy call on Zambezi District Commissioner Catherine Mukuma.
Ms Mukuma told the minister that floods caused by heavy rains have left more than 3,000 people homeless and destroyed their maize crop in Chief Chinyamalitapi of Zambezi West bank.
She said though Red Cross workers are on the ground in Zambezi West bank trying to distribute 113 metric tonnes of rice to the affected families, their relief operation is being hampered because the floods have washed away bridges and caused extensive damage to roads.
“Government has provided 113 metric tonnes (2,820 x 40kg bags) of rice. The Red Cross workers are on the ground to distribute the rice, but they cannot take the food to the affected people because roads and bridges have been washed away,” she said.
She said her office has also failed to travel to the area to assess the extent of damage caused by floods, adding that as the situation stands, relief operation in the west bank will require a helicopter to airlift food aid.
Mr Mubukwanu asked the District Commissioner to use available means of communication to contact traditional leaders in the Zambezi West-bank to help collect actual information on the affected families.
He said his office needs the actual information of the flood victims for lobbying to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to send relief assistance.
He expressed fear that the situation of floods may get worse in Zambezi West bank, saying there is need for the province to prepare adequately.
“This may just be a sign of things to come. The flood situation might get worse and we need to prepare before many people are affected,” he said.
Earlier Zambezi District Commissioner Catherine Mukuma visited Mulozo village on the Zambezi East where 12 houses collapsed and several maize fields have been submerged in water.
Headman Mulozo appealed to government to assist his subjects who have been affected by floods with food and tents, as some are elderly people who cannot rebuild their homes immediately.